~ Alright I'm sorry! I didn't mean for it to be delayed so long! But here it is. The end. I hope you like it. I have many more fics in the works. The first time Frodo and Sam meet. An ending if Sam had killed Gollum previously. Musings of the Ringbearers. And some prelude to this. Well please don't abandon me it's just school and volleyball have been eating up my schedule like Gollum eats fish or Hobbits just eat ^^. Heh well I'll try to post faster. ~

Chapter 10: The Road Goes Ever on and Then...

Sam accepted it now. He knew how it must be and somehow through all the grief Sam was happy. Even though the terrible nightmares that afflicted Frodo every night did not pain him, it hurt Sam. But he'd never tell Frodo how much it hurt him. How many wounds it opened that he had thought healed so long ago. He'd never tell. Sam's guilt had also dissipated, understanding that no matter how much it pained him he wanted to remember his past life. After all, without those memories, what would he have? Nothing that's what. He'd forget Rose and all his children. So memories might pain him but at least he felt that instead of nothing at all. It took a while for it to sink in how much emotions mattered, that without them you are even more wounded. But Sam understood now. He did not tell Frodo how many nights he cried in agony at Frodo's side, he knew that with the day came healing, for Frodo would wake and together they'd heal. For the short time that Frodo slept they were apart, Frodo some how slipped away and that pained Sam. But with Frodo's return with the rising of the sun healing began again and it was all worthwhile.

Even though Sam never told Frodo, being too much of a friend to ever utter a word about his own well being, Frodo knew with solemn acceptance. It was mornings he knew he had to be near his friend the most. To heal him. He tried hard to get it through to Sam that he wanted his memories, he never wanted to lose them, and he was glad Sam returned them to him. In time Frodo saw he finally got it through to Sam. They were even more inseperable than ever. In the prescence of Sam's garden they found peace and healing. One evening as the veil of night slowly drew over the land Sam and Frodo walked in content solitude. And here Sam posed his question after a long wait for the right time to do so.


"Yes, Sam."

"Are we dead?"

Frodo raised his brows, "Far from it, Sam. Whatever makes you think that?"

Sam sighed watching the stars twinkle in the skies above. He couldn't tell how late it was, time didn't seem to matter any more. His dreams blurred time into nonexistance as they bled into his reality. Though with all the time he was there he never let himself forget. Reciting the names of his children and grandchildren in his mind he was silent for a long while. How long had they been there? Middle-Earth must be changed greatly if they ever returned. Sam knew that was not possible, nor his wish. He knew his children had long left Middle-Earth, gone the way of his wife.

He wondered if there were, now, many copies of the Red Book, in homes of the children in Middle-Earth, and they would ask their Mum and Dad to read to them the story of the Lord of the Ring, of Frodo of Nine-Fingers, of Smaug, Gollum, and Bilbo's magic ring. Sam smiled at the thought of children everywhere holding a red book close to their hearts, escaping to the shade of a tree, like Frodo often did to read Bilbo's Red Book, and reading about the wraiths, Strider, orcs, magic, wizards, like it was all some faery tale. He almost laughed at this, "Faery Tale indeed." He pictured Aragorn as he copied the book, his decendants keeping the legend alive. After all Sam could not tell if merely days or thousands of years had passed. He went with the ladder. Would the Quest be so easily forgotten, dismissed as some faery tale? He clenched his heart hoping beyond hope that someone still believed, and was grateful for the land they had, and aware of the Great Danger. Could it be true that their tale had faded into nothing but a faery tale? He shook his head, "No. Strider wouldn't let that happen. Even after his death the legend lives. I am sure of it."


Sam sighed again. "Well it sure doesn't feel like we're alive, if you follow."

"How do you picture death?"

"I guess- I guess like this. Only, something is missing. We have eternity, if we cannot die, how can we live?"

"Eternity, yes, as some may call it. We are like the elves now, Sam, by the grace of the Valor that is granted to any who travel across the sea to this land. But elves die, Sam."

"When will we die?"

"We will live in the elvish twilight. Time has no relevence here, but we will die when the time comes."

"I still don't understand. What is death like, Frodo? Should I be scared? I can't say I am."

"I admit I've come close to it, Sam," Frodo answered half in jest, "But I do not know what death is like. As elves go it is a blissful sleep without waking, or so I've heard. What is beyond death, that is another road. Still round the corner there may wait a new road or a secret gate."

Sam was silent as he pondered Frodo's words. At length Frodo spoke again, guessing Sam's distress, "You wish to see her again."

Sam nodded solemly. "I miss her. I didn't know how much I would. Course I was torn apart when she-" Sam's eyes teared, "But I- didn't think. That is I thought- here- I might-"


Sam clenched his heart.

"Sam never forget. It may seem easier to bear the pain if you've forgotten it- but- it isn't."

He gulped restraining his tears. "Is eternity a long time?"

"Perhaps not here Sam. And then finally you might be whole again. I believe that there is a place after death where you can remember without the pain of memories."

Sam looked up at Frodo abruptly, "I thought that was here."

"You cannot always have it both ways. I could have had ignorant bliss, but in turn I would lose you, the Shire, and all I suffered for. I am glad for what I have. If this is how I must live out the rest of life, waiting until that day I may have both, I will continue to pay for the memories I am so grateful for. I'm just glad to have you, Sam. I cannot tell you how glad. But as long as I do I can endure the memories, the haunting nightmares, as long as you are there at my waking, I can endure."

Frodo's gaze went to the sky. Sam saw the fear behind his eyes but said nothing. He thought of how his dreams and reality became one over time, he hoped that would not be the way for Frodo. To live those nightmares as reality until his death. Sam was not afraid of death, he was not afraid he would lose Frodo or Frodo would lose him. He knew that where ever Frodo went he would follow, now together, inseparable. They would never be without eachother again. He knew that Frodo had no regrets, and he did not as well. Whatever stumble in the path that was ahead they would help eachother through, and everything would be alright. When Frodo stumbled Sam would be there to catch him and help him on his way again, he could walk blindly no longer. Without him Frodo was in greater pain than now, though perhaps he did not know it. Wounds left untended will never heal, but Sam was there now, there to heal his wounds. And Frodo there to heal Sam's.

The night was cool, an icy breeze was brought by the sea. Sam enjoyed the sea wind in his hair, filling him with life and renewal. The light ocean spray was healing and somehow comforting no matter how cold it was. When Sam turned from the sea he saw Frodo behind him, trembling, and cradling his left arm.

"Cold- Icy cold-" Frodo murmerred then tried hard to restrain any more words.

Sam wrapped his hand around Frodo's icy left hand. It trembled fiercly. He soothed giving Frodo all the warmth of his own. The path was coming to it's end and now would be the last trial. He would forever follow his friend and they slowly made their way back to the elven homes. Frodo leaned heavily on Sam trying desperately not to murmer in his sleep as not to worry Sam. Sam did not worry, nor did he ever again. He knew his purpose, he knew his end, and he knew it would be alright.

"I'm coming Rose. Just not yet. But- soon. As for now, I'm back with Frodo. I'm back."


~ Well? Please Review. Thank you for all your support. I can't tell you how much it means to me. Please keep watch for new fics. I'm sorry there wasn't anything about Legolas and Gimli whom I know eventually go to the Grey Havens, and sorry about not mentioning Aragorn and Arwen all that much. I really wanted this story to revolve around Frodo and Sam so I didn't want to get off track. Alrighty I'll shut up. I love you all. I can't thank you enough for all of your kind reviews. ~